The One -- Where You Cried at the Trailer

By Ansen, David | Newsweek, December 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

The One -- Where You Cried at the Trailer


Ansen, David, Newsweek


Byline: David Ansen

The spectacle of grieving parents mourning the loss of a child--what pain could be more primal?--has become a staple of the culture business. Whole TV networks have been built on the bones of dead children, and we've lost count of the number of books, plays, and movies that have assaulted our tear ducts--sometimes honorably, more often not--with untimely mortality. Now, in Rabbit Hole, we meet another pair of bereaved parents, the Corbetts, Becca and Howie (Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart), a once-happy couple whose lives, eight months after the accidental death of their 4-year-old son, Danny, have been shattered. But if the premise of Rabbit Hole is generic, the honesty, acuity, and restraint of the execution--not to mention its dry gallows humor--are not. Adapted and smartly opened up by David Lindsay-Abaire from his Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play, Rabbit Hole deftly sidesteps sentimentality and still wrenches your heart.

Kidman's tightly wound Becca has coiled her sorrow into a knot of rage. Accompanying Howie to group therapy with other mourning parents, she bristles with contempt at their testimony. Every attempt of her mother (Dianne Weist)--who lost a son herself--and her wilder, newly pregnant sister (Tammy Blanchard) to comfort her is rebuffed, as are her husband's advances. …

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